Nov. 4 Football Roundup

Go C-USA! Anthony Alridge
Anthony Alridge

Nov. 4, 2006

Anthony Alridge ran for 136 yards and a touchdown to lead Houston to a 27-10 win over Tulsa. The win snapped the Golden Hurricane's six-game winning streak and moved the Cougars into first place in the West Division. UH now controls its destiny to host the second annual C-USA Football Championship Game on Friday, Dec. 1. The Cougars will host the event if they can win at SMU next Saturday and at Memphis on Nov. 18. East Carolina remained in first place in the East Division with a 23-10 win at UCF.

HOUSTON (AP) -Anthony Alridge rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown to help Houston defeat Tulsa 27-10 on Saturday, ending Tulsa's six-game winning streak.

Houston (7-3, 5-1 Conference USA) scored on consecutive drives at the end of the first half and the start of the second half to win its third straight. The Cougars moved past Tulsa (7-2, 4-1) into first place in the conference's West Division.

Houston's Kevin Kolb hit 16-of-21 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown.

Paul Smith of Tulsa, who was averaging 210 yards passing a game, managed only 52 yards through three quarters. He finished 16 of 34 for 136 yards - 56 in the last two minutes.

Houston led 7-0 after a 3-yard touchdown run by Alridge on the Cougars' opening drive.

Roshawn Pope fumbled on the first play of Houston's second drive, and Tulsa's Walter Boyd recovered at the nine-yard line. One play later, Courtney Tennial scored to tie the game at 7.

The teams traded field goals in the second quarter, then Kolb hit Vincent Marshall with a 14-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining for a 17-10 halftime lead.

Marshall caught four passes for 54 yards to move past Elmo Wright into the all-time Houston lead with 3,359 yards receiving.

Jackie Battle's 1-yard run capped a 10-play, 83-yard drive at the start of the third quarter to give Houston a 24-10 lead with 9:39 to play in the period. Ben Bell's second 24-yard field goal with 2:24 to play finished the scoring.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -Brandon Fractious rushed for a career-high 128 yards and one touchdown, and cornerback Kasey Ross returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown in the final minute to seal a 23-10 victory for East Carolina over Central Florida on Saturday.

Robert Lee added three field goals for East Carolina (5-4, 4-2 Conference USA), which was clinging to a 16-10 lead when Ross stepped in front of a Kyle Israel pass and took it down the sidelines untouched.

UCF (2-7, 1-4) dropped its fourth straight game.

Fractious had a career-high 23 carries as East Carolina controlled much of the action, but struggled to put UCF away. Lee missed two field goal attempts and Pirates quarterback James Pinkney hit only 16 of 30 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions.

Golden Knights running back Kevin Smith was limited to 50 yards rushing on 18 carries, ending a string of four straight C-USA games where he had gone over 100 yards rushing.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Backup Jimmy Skinner threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes, lifting Marshall to a 42-21 win over Tulane on Saturday night.

Skinner came on after starter Bernard Morris hurt his leg late in the third quarter to lead the Thundering Herd (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA) to their third straight win.

Marshall built a 21-0 first-quarter lead, saw it slip away and squandered three scoring chances inside the Tulane 30 in the third quarter. Morris and Skinner each threw interceptions and Tulane blocked Anthony Binswanger's 38-yard field goal try.

Early in the fourth, Marshall's Jon Moravec blocked a punt and the Thundering Herd took over at the Tulane 24.

Binswanger then kicked a 36-yard field goal, but Tulane was offsides on the play and Marshall took the penalty. Two plays later, Skinner hit freshman Cody Slate with a 14-yard TD pass for a 28-21 lead with 12:34 remaining.

Tulane (3-6, 1-4) drove to the Marshall 22, but Lester Ricard threw incomplete on fourth-and-2. Skinner then took Marshall 78 yards in five plays, capped by his 24-yard TD toss to Emmanuel Spann.

Tulane's Fred Smith fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Marshall's Jeremy Frazie recovered at the Tulane 26. Skinner capped the scoring with an 11-yard TD pass to Ahmad Bradshaw.

Skinner went 9-of-11 for 113 yards. Bradshaw become the 12th player in Marshall history and the first in three seasons to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season on a first-quarter carry. He finished with 138 yards on 22 carries.

Ricard, who threw for 409 yards and three TDs in a win last week over Army, had a less-productive game in the cold in Conference USA's northernmost city. He had thrown five interceptions all season entering the game but had two against Marshall. He went 26-of-46 for 262 yards.

Morris, who started despite a sore toe that forced him to miss much of the last two games, converted a pair of third-down passes on Marshall's opening drive, which was capped by his 8-yard scramble on third-and-goal for a 7-0 lead.

Four plays later, Marshall defensive end Albert McClelland tipped a pass that teammate Zearrick Matthews returned 44 yards for a touchdown.

On Marshall's second possession, Morris found Slate with a 9-yard TD pass for a 21-0 lead.

But Marshall's offense stalled the next two quarters and Tulane took advantage.

Ricard found Preston Brown with a 15-yard TD pass and Matt Forte scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Ricard found Forte with a 48-yard pass on Tulane's first possession of the third quarter, setting up Forte's 4-yard TD run to tie the game at 21-21.

Forte was injured making a tackle on an interception late in the third quarter and had his string of four straight 100-yard rushing games snapped.

RICE 37, UTEP 31
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -Quinton Smith ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns to lead Rice to a 37-31 win over Texas-El Paso Saturday night.

Smith also caught a 64-yard scoring pass for the Owls (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA), who kept their bowl hopes alive.

The Owls' Chase Clement threw three touchdown passes and Jarett Dillard caught a touchdown pass for an NCAA-leading 11th consecutive game. Clement finished 19-of-26 passing for 233 yards and no interceptions.

Jordan Palmer rallied UTEP (4-5, 2-3) from a 30-10 halftime deficit, but it wasn't enough.

Palmer completed 16-of-33 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns. But after his 26-yard scoring pass to Daniel Robinson with 7:30 remaining, Rice ran out the clock with a 13-play drive.

Robinson caught four passes for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.



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